Ford Motor Company is planning to contract technology from several Chinese companies that work for the China’s communist government and military, as well as the North Korean government.
The revelations were made in letters released this week by Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), chairman of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), chairwoman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.
Ford has come under intense scrutiny for months over its partnership with Chinese electric vehicle battery manufacturer Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL). The scrutiny comes as Ford has lost billions of dollars on trying to produce electric vehicles and recently had to announce that they were cutting back the employees manufacturing the electric vehicles because the demand for them is so low that Ford is cutting their production in half.
The four troubling companies that Ford is doing business with were included in Ford’s signed agreements with CATL, the letters said. The companies “will be intimately involved” in the proposed U.S. battery facility’s design, construction, and information technology (IT) processes.
The names of the four companies were redacted in letters to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen that recommended that the U.S. government launch investigations into the companies’ “direct ties to the [Chinese military], the [Chinese Communist Party], China’s Ministry of Public Security, the ongoing genocide of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang, and the North Korean government.”
“It is unconscionable for Ford to purchase critical IT infrastructure from a Chinese company that facilitate sanctions evasion activity on behalf of the North Korean government,” the letter said. “Indeed, this poses significant cybersecurity risks, including the potential for malicious actors to exploit the very connections and data flows iPaaS tools are designed to facilitate. The same company that is supplying IT products and software to entities that support the North Korean government will have the capability to embed backdoors, spyware, and other forms of malware within Ford’s iPaaS infrastructure, which could compromise the confidentiality and integrity of Ford’s sensitive information.”